Imagine a vast colony of insects, all living and working diligently according to their natures, age upon age, constantly toiling to perfect the hive. And then one day, a few individual insects are infected with an unknown virus, which attaches to their nervous systems and twists their neural processing. The infected insects, who are otherwise well fed and gainfully employed, begin to twitch and veer aimlessly. Soon they lose all volition, and become a thrashing mob, scything through their hive and randomly shredding cocoons, pupae, hive walls, honey stores. The infected creatures rage about mindlessly, destroying everything in their path, until finally they are brought down, dismembered, by warriors of the colony.

The colony is mindless, so its only response is to destroy the infected members and go on with life. But what if it were a colony of super-intelligent aliens? Which would be a more rational response from the alien insect civilization… simply killing the infected citizens, or neutralizing them and then figuring out what was wrong with them in the first place?

That is essentially our predicament, when faced with vicious lunatics such as the subhuman garbage now attacking Mumbai. What did the Mumbai people do to bring on this attack? Well, I doubt I’m going out on a limb to predict their only linking crime was failing to visualize their imaginary magical friends in the same way as their attackers. I mean, how dare the people of Mumbai not simply believe exactly the same psychotic lies as the Deccan Mujahideen? What could they be thinking? Clearly, the religious position of this latest band of penisless thugs is self-evidently superior to everyone else’s, as evidenced by their hiding from capture, their cowardly attacking of random children, and the lice and filth that most likely decorate their secret caves. Obviously… I mean, obviously, their god is the most powerful and insightful, kindest and gentlest, most gigantic invisible creature worth abasing ourselves before.

Their god is a psychosis. The disease motivating terrorists like the Mumbai attackers is called religion. It’s a virus of seductive misinformation, clothed in attractive silks while coyly conceiling a hag of terror and nihilistic madness. The only difference between the thug now terrorizing India and nice churchy family across the street is the degree to which they have succumbed to religiosis… the disease of believing in impossible, non-existent, omnipotent entities that drive you to commit inhuman atrocities. Most people can fight off the infection sufficiently well to function, sometimes suffering a lifelong but otherwise manageable chronic condition. A few people are weak, their immune systems compromised by poverty, malnourishment or mistreatment by others… they succumb, and strap on bombs. Some of us are immune.

It’s not enough to simply arrest or shoot the crazies who attack our civilization. If we intend to limit the collateral damage, we need to recognize that believing in delusions gets people killed. Believing things that are real tend to limit that sort of thing.


~ by Planetologist on November 26, 2008.

6 Responses to “Religiosis”

  1. […] to Religiosis I received some comments on my earlier post on religion and the Mumbai attacks, and rather than pour time into comment replies, I’ll […]

  2. Since you went on to explain, I retract saying that you failed to provide any reasoning.

    But I do feel safe saying that whatever “rather strong philosophical basis for my belief in God” you have is just plain wrong.

  3. Yeah, it’s totally wrong. I mean, until the nice churchy family across the street kills off one of their own children because the medical procedure that would save them isn’t allowed in their version of “what god wants.”

    “i’m sorry it’s just plain wrong. strike one.”

    First of all, you fail to provide any evidence or reasoning for it being wrong, and secondly you arrogantly assume that your ‘strikes’ mean fuck all to anyone else.

    Concern trolling. Strike one.

  4. To take this to the personal level… I’have a background and job in natural sciences, I do believe in evolution and Bing Bang theory and the main thesis of modern physical sciences. I’m tolerant to people of other nationality, race, beliefs, I do believe that being gay is not a sin and so on. Also, I have a rather strong philosophical basis for my belief in God, which is a theory that I find logical. Every once in a while I go to a church, so I guess I’m a churchy person. It may only be my appreciation for art, but I enjoy these visits. I have never tried to convince anyone of my beliefs only when they asked for it, and I’d never want to convert you. Now, we can have a nice and smart discussion about if my hypothesis about God is correct or not, or if the inner harmony I feel in church is because of of a psychosis or not, but if you still insist that I have a mental illness that somehow ties me to terrorists in India, then discussion is over because we are not on the same intellectual level, and we don’t speak the same language (which is actually almost true 🙂 ).
    Since I don’t think that you would do that, I assume that there is a misundersatnding in the background of all of it, and that is you base your judgment based on fundamental christians and muslims. the irony of it, is that European historical christian churches tend to be more open-minded and progressive then those mentioned before. Communities definetely are, but even the Vatican starts to move on concerning certain issues (

    …also, I think that the negative effect of religion on humanity is orders of magnitudes smaller then the positive effect. Unfortunately the millions of lives saved and made better by religious organizations throughout history never gets reported, however tenthousands people of killed by terrible religious people always gets in the center of attention. I could list lots of things here, such as Galileo’s trial as compared to how science and knowledge was preserved in monasteries and universities during the “dark ages”, but I’m sure this would spark a very very very long discussion.

  5. I guess at three I have to stop writing, or something. Lol.

    No, actually I think it’s pretty much correct. Fervent belief in fiction and mild belief in fiction are still beliefs in fiction. With mild belief I might only be capable of committing acts of mild stupidity, but as impossible beliefs escalate in intensity so does the human capacity to commit acts of increasing hideousness. That seems to be a fairly straightforward observation, if uncomfortable to those who suffer from religiotic mental illness.

    I’m sorry, but when people are dying from stupidity, politeness is wasted on the stupid.

    There are human behaviors that are smart and human behaviors that are willfully and dangerously stupid, and I think it’s important to call them as they are. Unlike most liberals, I suppose, I’m a culturist… as in, someone who thinks there are really well-designed cultures and really inferior, backward, primitive, stupid cultures. So I have no compunction saying other cultures – or aspects thereof – are inferior to mine, or superior to mine. Straight up.

    And no, I don’t think mine is the best one. More on this later.

  6. “The only difference between the thug now terrorizing India and nice churchy family across the street is the degree to which they have succumbed to religiosis… the disease of believing in impossible, non-existent, omnipotent entities that drive you to commit inhuman atrocities.” – this is the first statement i read in this blog that shows almost everything what’s wrong in today’s fake liberalism. generalization, stereotypes, being offensive on purpose, double standards, lack of respect, missing a real perspective on social effects of ideologies, aggressive opinion. i have enjoyed reading your smart and attention-worthy posts until this one. i’m sorry it’s just plain wrong. strike one.

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